Big Western Canadian roadtrip coming up this week as the Lightning take on Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Both Calgary and Edmonton have been struggling in the Western Conference sitting in 14th (Oilers) and 15th (Flames) with 24 points each while the Canucks sit in 3rd place 31 points. In Alberta, Calgary has been alternating games winning and losing while Edmonton has been on a recent four game win streak as of Sunday night. Vancouver on the other hand has been trucking along winning games in a Conference where if you want to stay with the playoff pack you can't lose a single game.

How tough is the West? Only three points separate the Canucks in third place to the St. Louis Blues in twelfth (prior to their game last night).

So let's recap what happened this weekend:

Lightning 6, Avalanche 5
After being embarrassed in Boston, the Lightning put on a better effort in a win against Colorado. Each Lightning goal scored during the game came from a different skater, none of which were named Steven Stamkos. The goals were scored by Thompson, St. Louis, Ritola, Gagne, Malone and Bergenheim. Nice to see such even scoring from the forwards making up for the loss of Downie and Lecavalier. Ellis stopped 19 shots out of 24 which was enough for the win but the goaltending obviously is a bit of a problem.

Downie's Injury
So Downie has a high ankle sprain as is expected to be out 3-4 weeks. His physical presence on the line with St. Louis and Stamkos will sorely be missed. Simon Gagne who has had two goals and three assists since his return from injury will take Downie's spot on the top line.

Boucher's Scar
After making up imaginary reasons as to the origin of it, I tried to search the internet for the answer and unfortunately no luck on the reason behind the scar. From the St. Petersburg Times:
Boucher is coy about how he got the prominent scar on his right cheek, saying only it's not hockey-related. "I didn't tell anybody back home (what it's from), so it's like this little enigma," he said, laughing. "My kids don't even know."
Disappointing yes, but now I can go back to making up imaginary reasons for how he got it. Whatever the reason may be, MGM has given James Bond 23 the go ahead, and I think Boucher makes a perfect Bond villain. Let's make this happen people.

Bullet point stuff:
  • Boucher admits that it's hard to manage the increased ice time for St. Louis and Stamkos with so many injuries to the top six forwards so far and the over use of the players has made them tired.
  • In Cristodero's blog, Boucher said that Johan Harju and Mattias Ritola will get time on the second powerplay unit and will try to reserve Sean Bergeneim and Dominic Moore for the penalty kill as opposed to using Bergenheim and Moore for both the PP and PK
  • Boucher had a meeting with Mike Smith and Dan Ellis to try to get them to simplify their approach and focus. Coaches always say to simplify when a team/player isn't doing well but unless can get consistent talent to magically appear, this meeting will do little to improve the goaltending
  • Attendance at the Colorado/Tampa game came in at 18,212